New Zealander NBA star Steven Adams is in a battle for survival in the 2018 NBA playoffs, as his Oklahoma City Thunder squad is facing a win-or-go-home game against the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz leads the best-of-seven series three games to one and Adams and the rest at least have the home court advantage for the fifth game of the series.
Utah won convincingly in the last game by the score of 113 – 96. Since Keven Durant bolted to the Golden State Warriors and left the Thunder without a superstar other than Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma has fallen off a notch, but they have still managed to play finals.
Adams copped an elbow to the face when he was trying to play the good guy and break up a fight. The scene started when Jae Crowder of Utah went after Westbrook after Westbrook had thrown an arm across Crowder’s chest.
Adams was trying to protect Westbrook and the elbow he took to the nose did not seem to affect him immediately, although he was later seen to be paying some attention to his beak.
The incident resulted in Crowder being ejected from the game at around the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Adams himself was not angel during the game, copping one of the seven technical fouls the officials handed out during the contest. It was not Adams’ best showing of the season, as he played 35 minutes and scored just nine points and seven rebounds.
Oklahoma won the first game of the series before surrendering three consecutive, so Adams and the rest need to dig deep if they want to carry their season forward.
The loss in the fourth game was not for lack of effort. Oklahoma opened a nice lead in the first quarter and stayed in front for most of the second quarter, but Aussie Joe Ingles had a solid game with 20 points and the Jazz blew the game open and led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter.